Leeds Biomedical Research Centre will be permanently displaying ‘Interweave’ an exhibition created as part of the Yorkshire Year of Textile by visual artist Deborah Gardner.
The Yorkshire Year of Textile was an Arts Council funded year long artistic programme, initiated by the Cultural Institute at the University of Leeds to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Mitzi Cunliffe’s monumental Man-Made Fibres sculpture, situated on the Clothworkers' South Building in the centre of the campus. In later life, Cunliffe suffered increasingly with arthritis, which impeded her ability to make sculpture.
In the project Interweave, Deborah Gardner was commissioned to reflect, through a body of drawing, on the effects of arthritis on hands. The research began through Deborah’s attendance at the PPI group steering committee meeting at the Leeds Biomedical Research Centre and an Ask the Researcher event, where studies were made of patients’ hands. The drawing Together is a recognition of the support patients and members of the group give one another and the empowerment and knowledge such events can give. Further research involved studies of pigmented microscopic images of cellular structures and the finger like protrusions of thickening synovial fluid in the body’s joints, causing swelling and inflammation. Underpinning these concerns was a consideration of the increased risk for textile workers to develop arthritis, an examination of weave patterns and their similarities with human muscular structures and an acknowledgement of the considerable contribution of worker’s hands in the preparation of worsted yarn for weaving at what was Moorside Mills, now Bradford Industrial Museum, where the drawings were exhibited for six months in 2017.
Deborah Gardner is a visual artist, who exhibits nationally and internationally in galleries, museums, cemeteries, sculpture parks, industrial regeneration, and site-responsive projects. Selected recent projects include a two-year residency at Conway Hall, London, a EU funded exhibition Monument at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Calais, a two-person exhibition Texture of Place at the Galeria Strefa Erasmusa at the Academy of Art Łódź, Poland and ongoing collaboration with Dr Anke Bruening Richardson on cell migration and propagation, initiated through the Science and Art Platform, organised through the Zoological Society of London. Deborah is a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors